June 15, 2021 3.54 pm

Memorial bench made for North Hykeham’s Ray of sunshine

A wonderful tribute for Ray

A much-loved figure known as North Hykeham’s ‘weather man’ has been given a memorial bench to honour his friendly reputation in the area.

Ray Marris was a popular face along Hykeham Road in Lincoln, and would walk along Newark Road to the Forum every single day.

News of his sad passing at the age of 80 in May 2020 was met with the local community sharing memories of Ray and his trusty can of Pepsi that would be by his side at all times.

Ray Marris was a much-loved member of the North Hykeham community.

He was often referred to as “weather man” to those who knew him, due to his regular chats with residents about the forecast.

The streets of Lincoln were lined with people to send off Ray at his funeral on May 28, 2020, as friends and family clapped, cheered and waved one last time for their weather man.

Christmas colours for Ray. | Photo: Joanne Sendall

The tributes haven’t stopped there, though, and a local fundraising effort has allowed for Ray’s memory to live on forever, in the form of a plaque on his very own bench.

The bench was put up at Ray’s favourite spot on Newark Road on the May bank holiday weekend, just days after the first anniversary of his funeral.

An incredible £1,656 was raised for the memorial bench, which reads: “In fond memory of Ray ‘the waving weatherman’ Marris, 1940-2020, Lincoln’s very own Ray of sunshine.”

The plaque was donated free of charge and is a fitting tribute to Ray. | Photo: Joanne Sendall

The plaque was donated and engraved by Andy Balchin at Lincoln Security, free of charge and from the good of his heart.

As well as this, there is a subtle Christmas decoration on the plaque, which is fitting for Ray as this was his favourite time of year.

Ray’s bench can be found on Newark Road in Lincoln. | Photo: Joanne Sendall

Some residents even suggested that Ray always had a Christmas tree up in his house, regardless of the time of year.

Joanne Sendall organised the fundraiser for the bench, while Suzanne Gregory organised the placement of the bench with the local council.

Any excess money raised from the bench fund will be given to charity.

Joanne told The Lincolnite: “I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who donated and everyone who made this possible, I hope people will use the bench as a place to sit, reflect and remember Ray.”

Messages of support and memories of Ray were posted on the fundraiser, with Heidi Dixon saying: “Missing your waves and daily weather report, such a kind and generous gentleman.”

Suzanne Baxter commented: “I so miss seeing him sat on that wall and getting a big wave from him. He’ll be sadly missed.”

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